A quick personal digression- statistics, whether in the social sciences, or elsewhere, interest me. I’m a psychology major at the moment; a factor in some of the topics I choose to pursue on Reading Between, but statistics are still fun to look at as well. That being said, I got a bit curious one day about the statistics of anime on myanimelist.com, and decided to do some digging, and here’s some of the trends I found!
I already said I was a nerd, but humor me for just a moment, as I explain how I did this.
So, myanimelist.com, as one would expect, has a “top anime” page, which lists off by rating the top 50 anime. However, movies, actual series, and even different seasons of the same series, are all placed in the rankings together, and had to be sorted out. Because of this, I only used the “Top TV Series,” and “Most Popular” sections, and for different seasons of the same anime, I kept only the highest ranking season, while bringing up the 51st, 52nd, etc., to compensate. Gintama, in particular, had 3 different seasons in the top ten alone, and to avoid skewed stats, I decided to cut down on the sequels and similar seasons.
From there, I took a look at the genres that each anime was assigned, and kept track of how many anime series fell under which genre. A total of 36 genres were kept track of, ranging from the more obvious Action, Shonen, and Romance, to outliers such as Ecchi, Vampire, and Police. Of course, this DOES mean we’re relying totally on the genres that MyAnimeList gives to each anime, but ya know. No study’s perfect.
After knowing how many of the top anime and popular anime fall into each genre, I try and look for trends, any differences between the two categories. And well, whaddya know, there are certainly some trends to report. For ease of communication, the Top Anime list will be referred to as TA, while the Popular Anime list will be referred to as PA.
The Top Anime, vs The Popular Anime
Eventually, narrowing everything down, I was able to arrive at this little list, allowing for a bit easier of a time in comparing these numbers. First off, it’s gotta be noted that anime under the Drama category are much more likely to be considered a “top” anime, rather than a popular one. For popular anime, you gotta look at the action genre. Basically, think Clannad, Full Metal Alchemist, and Your Lie in April for the TA category, and Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, and Future Diary for PA.
Looking at the top five genres, everything’s the same, rather static, rather close, but one genre sticks out: the Supernatural genre. For these, think something mystical, magical, or spiritual- you got shows like Blue Exorcist, Tokyo Ghoul, and Another for this category. A quick look at how many shows share the Action and Supernatural genres in PA reveals something interesting: more than 65%, 16/23 of the Supernatural genre anime share the Action genre as well! Compare this to TA, which only has just over 30%, or 6/16, with these two common genres, and you can see that Supernatural anime just seems to have something that gets to the public.
Other Interesting Stats:
- There are ZERO sports anime in PA, but there are NINE in TA. Who knew that Sports anime are actually really good?
- On that note, out of six Historical anime in TA, there are three in the top ten anime of TA, while there is only ONE Historical anime in PA- sitting at a low 47th rank. I guess historical anime just isn’t that popular
- The “Thriller” genre had 6 in TA, and 5 in PA, but of the top ten anime of each category, only 1 in TA was a thriller, compared to 3 in PA- 60% of the thrillers were in the top ten! This shows that thrillers, despite not being plentiful, are certainly far more popular, than acclaimed.
- Out of the 7 Psychological anime in TA, only one was in the top 20 anime, compared to the 10 Psychological anime in PA, of which, 4 were in the top 20. It appears that psychological anime are just not perceived as the best.